Scott Speed Out At Red Bull In 2011

2009 Daytona 500 089

(photo courtesy Leon Hammack)

Scott Speed’s option for the 2011 NASCAR season has not been picked up by Red Bull Racing.  That has now made Speed scurrying about the garage area scouring for a ride for the 2011 NASCAR race season!

People closest to this situation have confirmed that Kasey Kahne will replace Speed for 2011 in the #82 Red Bull Racing Toyota, which may change to a Chevy for 2011.  With Kahne taking over the that ride there will be a few changes in that team.  The first of the changes will the the number of the race car.  The #82 team will be renumbered to #4 to reflect the number that Kahne uses in his sprint car racing.

Secondly, Kahne’s crew chief from the #9 RPM Budweiser Ford, Kenny Francis, will be the crew chief on the new #4 Red Bull Racing team, beginning in 2011.  The current crew chief of the #83 team, Jimmy Elledge, is likely the odd crew chief out of the organization.  Ryan Pemberton, the crew chief for the current #82 team, would move back to the #83 team with Vickers. Also some rumors have been floated out there that Red Bull Racing could switch from Toyota to Chevy, with engines and chassis coming from Hendrick Motorsports. Kahne will move to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, to the #5 Chevy.

Red Bull Racing will field only two teams next season with Kasey Kahne in the #82/#4 car and Brian Vickers in the #83, general manager Jay Frye said on Friday. Vickers’ spot is contingent on his health. He has missed the last two-thirds of this season after being diagnosed with blood clots. If Vickers is healthy, #82 driver Scott Speed will become a free agent. Speed has a performance clause in his contract that relieves Red Bull Racing from financial responsibility past this season if he doesn’t finish in the top 16 in points. Speed is 28th in points with five races remaining. “We’re still monitoring Brian’s health,” Frye said. “So far everything looks really good.” Frye said speculation that the #82 car would be changed to the #4 for Kahne next season is premature, noting there is an issue with Morgan-McClure, which retains the rights to the number.

So the question that begs to be asked is, “where will Scott Speed land in 2011”?  What is your view?


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